tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC February 11, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EST
organized and spread their ideas online and stood up to tyranny in the streets. so tonight, i believe our founding fathers are smiling down on the sons of freedom in egypt on a revolution well done. now, much more coverage ahead on a live edition of "hardball" with chris matthews right now. goodbye mubarak, hello, freedom. let's play "hardball." nies pictures will take place in history, alongside the fall of the berlin wall and the release of nelson mandela.
protester protest protesters had won in the capital of the arab world. last night's speech was the philliping point apparently. the egyptian military told mubarak it would no longer stand by him. with the support of the military gone, the result was a bloodless coup d'etat. what role will the military play in the. co-ing days. will these inspire similar movements in other arab capitals? let's start with richard engel who's in cairo. richard, thank you so much for this friday night report. i have to say that we have learned so much about the country that you spent so many years in. did anyone surprise you?
>> how quickly it happened. the state security forces in the country, the riot police, the secret police are considered among the best in fact region. i was dealing with them when i was working here as a reporter. they would follow you around, they would tap your phone. they had no problem arresting dissidents, but this government, this regime was completely unable to stop this movement. and it seems like it was a 1960s or '70s style soviet repressive system that was no longer up to date to deal with the protesters who was on the streets. they couldn't track the texts and the facebook. they were overwhelmed. and all their very old-style tactics just didn't work. i had always thought the egyptian people feared the security services. i thought the security services were quite efficient and they had almost no impact in stopping this.
>> the intelligence, restraint and discipline made it hard for the army -- or disenchanted the army. in other words, made it so the army couldn't move against them because of their disciplined behavior. >> i think it was twro things. their numbers and their nonviolent posture. these protesters only attacked to defend themselves. they gathered in tahrir square and then thugs, everyone says paid by the government, paid by particularly the political party, were sent in to attack them, they formed a defensive shield around tahrir square and fought off this attacker. other than that, they did not engage with the army, they did not try to destroy or loot any banks. it was a huge movement except when it was directly assaulted. it remained nonviolennonviolent.
i think it made it difficult for the army to do anything but just sit back and watch. >> as recently as yesterday, there was a call for barack -- i mean mubarak to leave the country. he's in sharm el-sheikh in the protection of the military. were you surprised the protesters were very happy where that resolution so far? >> well, this is not over. already there's talks of lawsuits. when i was down in the crowds, people say ty want their money back. i think president mubarak, former president mubarak, now citizen mubarak is going to have a serious problem. he had all of the legal immunity afforded by the state. there are going to be people coming after him for money for wrongful death lawsuits and it will be very difficult. this is not over for mr. mubarak. i initially thought this would happen, he would go to sharm el-sheikh and try to stay out of sight, out of mind. i think that was -- mubarak's initial hope, that he could just
reseed from the limelight and people would sort of forget about him. that's certainly was not the intention today. when he moved back to sharm el-shei el-sheikh, everyone was just more encouraged. a lot of people are talking about this as a strip tease. one by one, giving little bits of reforms away. and instead of being placated. it just made them want to continue and push this forward. >> so the question as we leave you tonight, richard, is this a celebration for a victory won? or is this a continued protest? >> this is a celebration now for a victory won. some people want to try mubarak, have him hanged. i suspect not everyone is on the same song sheet here, but the main goal, which was to have president mubarak removed from power has been accomplished and i think this is now a victory celebration. what will happen with the military and who will run this
country in the interim, the military hasn't made it clear yet. the military says it will issue subsequent statements but it will end the emergency law soon, but lifting the emergency law, egyptians can form political parties and prepare themselves for elections. >> is suleiman the chief executive in the country? sl is he an agent of the military? how would you describe it in the. >> i think we're going to see suleiman fade away. he cast his lot, and i'm quoting a u.s. official here, with then-president mubarak last night and i think you're going to start seeing him reseed from the picture. we heard reports that the military plans to form a civilian temporary administration, perhaps using judges from the supreme court. it has not made exactly its intentions clear, but suleiman is so associated now with president mubarak, it seems highly unlikely he's going to be taking a leading role. >> put this in perspective of your own career over there,
richard, if you don't mind, speaking professionally. when you went over there and made the commitment to learn the language, to plif with the people, to become a strong reporter, first as a stringer, then as a correspondent now probably the biggest story in the middle east since the six-day war. i don't know how you put this in perspective where anything else, but at least that. >> i used to think the iraq story was a big story and would transform the middle east. this has even more the potential to do that. there are already protests planned for libya and algeria. i think i'm going to be busy. but to answer your question, i came here and started my career. i was living in a very poor neighborhood and it was just on the opposite side of the nile river behind me. i was just downstairs talking to someone who lives in that very same neighborhood and he gave me a hug and was very excited that he found something of a compatriot who had come back to
visit. i lived there for a long time. i learned the language there, learned arabic there and saw that the people were frustrated, not just by the repression of mubarak. mubarak was some far removed. nobody had any contact with them. they felt the repression of the system. there was a system in place that you couldn't move in, that you couldn't try and get a better job because if you had loyalty to the party or you knew someone in power, you remember almost guaranteed a job then you could bring in all your friends and family around you. that was the system that was in place. people were frustrated by it. but we're talking 15 years ago. prices were very different than they are right now. there weren't these huge discrepancies between the rich and poor. if you lived back then in a poor neighborhood and you had a rough life and you couldn't get ahead because of the system, you just sort of accepted it. but in the last several years, prices have gone through the roof. there are these multimillion dollar mansions that have popped up, really just a few blocks
away from terrible slums, and that pushed this over the edge. and the people who had been accepting their lot in life, this is a fatalistic society, decided that they just couldn't accept this anymore. >> great reporting and a great career for you. to put all this investment in into this wonderful day today, i do think this is one of the, just from the distance i'm watching it, one of the -- one of my big three to have watched. the ber min wall and the south african change and now this. you're there covering it, congratulations. i loved watching you for the last couple days. all through the day, especially with your arabic background translating for us. it's been spectacular. >> thank you very much. i appreciate all the time you' gwynn this story. i've been enjoying being on your somehow, too, chris. >> thank you for joining us. your perspective, where are you from originally?
>> i was born and raised in morocco. >> so you're a north african and you're from a moderate arab state. >> that's correct. >> how will this affect moderately arab countries like your own that's certainly not islamist? >> it was obvious from the start that some countries in theare ln others. that said, i think what's happened in egypt has certainly captured the imagination of everyone in the region. we've seen the celebrations today in almost every country in the middle east from atlantic to the gulf. not just what this means for egyptians but what it means for them also. >> so if you're a king or a baathist leader, are you looking for any assembly of people in the next few days and have them broken up? >> i think this will certain ly
lead to some regimes in the country to topple. >> really? >> i think it will push others to take a hard look at serious reforms. it's going to be a very bitter pill for some regime, but they're going to have to make up their mind if they want to take that pill or see their countries slide into the unknown. >> the big picture argument for the iraq war, which a lot of us opposed and opposed the argument was that you would create a democratic country by overthrowing saddam hussein and allowing democracy to take root and that would spread around the region. that hasn't happened. but here it is happening. will this metastasize, to use a bad word, throughout the region? >> part of the reason why the egyptian story has captured everyone's imagination. part of it is the will and determination and the organization of the youth of egypt. the other part is the peaceful nature of this change.
and if it does lead to a peaceful and democratic outcome, then inevitably, it will happen elsewhere. it's obviously a far cry from what happened in iraq. today, part of -- there's the joy of egypt, but there was also, certainly among arabs i know, the regret of what happened in iraq, and a lot of questions, why could it not have happened in iraq, was it possible ever for something like this to happen in iraq. a lot of iraqis think, given what the regime in iraq was like, it was very unlikely even if iraq had the glare of the media that egypt has had over the last few weeks. but certainly the invasion of 2003, and everything else that happened after that is certainly something to think about. >> it's great having you on. aljazeera which has been getting big play in this whole event, as it should have. coming up, the people got what they want. of course, mubarak is gone. what's next? can egypt make a democracy work?
let's see in the short run. we'll start talking about that in a bit in the short run. . >> everyone who is happy about anything in their life is celebrating. people are happy about their dogs, their children. this has become a giant birthday party for the country here. i like to make my own investment decisions. excuse me, what is that? oh, i'm a fidelity customer.
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>> raise your head up high, you are egyptians. that is what they're saying here over and over again. that this is a proud moment for egyptians, a proud moment in which they can hold their heads up high. >> wow. history in the making. welcome back to "hardball." that's the great richard engel in tahrir square this afternoon. let's bring in barak barfi.
he's on the phone from tahrir square itself. your feel for the crowd right now and its mood? >> egypt has not witnessed such celebration since moses led the israelites out of bondage here. families are coming, couples with their young children. 2, 3, 4 years old. they're putting them on the tanks and the army personnel carriers. they're taking pictures of them. they know this is a moment they'll never forget in their lives. i've seen the snup saying the regime has fallen. people are taking pictures of it. i have never seen such celebrations. it's as if they have won the world cup. >> if you're 35 years old and a lot of people in that crowd are about that age, you have never
known any other leader and all you eve kno you've known is one name, hosni mubarak, the dictator. that's all you've known about government, right? >> exactly. these people only knew hosni mubarak. he's been in power since october 6, 1981. that's more than 29 years. and they thought hosni mubarak's son would take power as well. that's why these people came out basically, chris. the beginning of the administration began in 2000 when the son succeeded the father in syria. and people started talking about a dynasty in egypt as well. and when mubarak's son started bringing his businessmen friends into the ruling democratic national party and with the corruption, that was the beginning of the end for the hosni mubarak era, chris. >> i was talking to general
powell quite a while ago. he said all the governments in egypt around the middle east have different names. some are called monarchies, some are called baathists. he said if you go to see gadhafi in libya or syria, and here you have gamel mubarak. all they want is their chosen son to be their successor. that's all they think about. >> exactly. they coined words for that in the arab world called the republican monarchist. now there's not so many coups and revolutions on the part of the military, we thought he would see a new decade of transition of power to the son. we thought we would see that in iraq, in yemen, and again in
libya. but now the people have come out on the streets to say we don't want these family transitions. we want more democracy and freedom. we want to be like you people in the west, chris. >> you gave me a bad flashback with the hussein sons. sure glad they're not running the show. it's always the first son that gets to have succeed the dictator. irshad, thank you for joining us. it's chuckle worthy that all these dictators want their oldest son to be their successor. that's all they plan on. it's another form of corruption really, isn't it? >> it is very much so and a deep form of corruption. but since we're on the topic of
corruption, chris, let us make clear to our audience tonight that what has happened in egypt is not yet mission accomplished. it is at best mission en route. and that's because the military has tightened its grip on power in egypt. now, this is an institution that has not really had over the past couple of generations much contact with the egyptian people. and that many analysts say is part of the reason it is still so respected. but the reality is that long-time democracy activists have really not trusted the military and there's very good reason for that. retired generals have gotten hush money through u.s. foreign aid. this is an institution that owns wide swaths of the egyptian economy. 80% of the provencial governor witness egypt come from the military. so the open question is, how will the military use its power
going forward, especially when it comes to its treatment of the people. >> the people there know the role of the military, but doesn't the military know the people as well, and the people are demanding democracy. how can the military deny a transition to democracy at this point? >> i don't think they would be stupid enough to deny a transition to democracy, but a human rights watch has pointed out earlier today how quickly and effect ily they allow for democratic reforms will be very key. for example, in your earlier interview, richard engel, h he pointed out that the military, you know, has promised to lift emergency law which will then allow people to form political parties. but in their statement, the army said that they would consider lifting emergency law when current circumstances come to an
end. what exactly does that mean? obviously nobody yet knows and probably military brass don't yet know. another quick point, the constitution is going to have to be amend sod that those who form presidential candidates, those who field presidential candidates won't have to be vetted by the parliament, which is full of mubarak kroen knees. -- cronies. it's a long, hard slog. >> i challenge your pessimism. i think this is going in the right direction. >> i'm the furthest thing from a pessimi pessimist. >> they got the message last night. don't mess with the people. anyway, thank you so much. you'll be back again many times. up next, the crowds have been celebrating since word came that mubarak was stepping down. richard engel has been with those ecstatic egyptians all day. we're going to have much more from him, richard engel, coming up next.
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country. >> he's saying we are just happy because we have now taken our freedom. he says we are -- this is our country. we are going to stay with it. we are going to stay in it day and night. he's saying that the egyptian people have shown their strength. they have shown their ability to be dignifiedignified. so this is not just a moment of liberation. they are saying it is a moment of national pride, of showing the egyptian character, the egyptian character on display. you speak english? >> yes. >> why are you here? what do you want today? >> this is our today. this is our country. this is my egypt. this is the revolution.
r revolution of the people. it's our facebook. we are the man, egypt will be built with us. >> egypt will be rebuilt with you. >> yeah, yeah. >> that's a theme we're hearing over and over. that egypt will be rebuilt. they will channel this energy and take ownership of the country. >> no, no, i'm speaking english. >> noway, they're saying that egypt will be built with democracy and liberty and their struggle. [ speaking foreign language ]
>> and that's what we're also hearing. he's asking about the money that's been stolen. he's asking what about the money that's come in through the suez canal. there are reports surfacing, what happened to all the money? president must be mb has now stepped down. that means he know longer has presidential immunity. and i can predict from this crowd that there are going to be lawsuits, demands of retribut n retribution. people want to know what happened to egypt's finance. you can see people standing on that tank. tanks that people were afraid of when they first rolled into cairo when the police pulled back after clashes here. and these tanks took a position. people thought maybe they were going to fire on the people and the tanks never did. now they are standing on the tanks. people here cheer on the army saying hand in hand, the people
and the army are together. >> everyone who is happy about anything in their life is celebrating. people are happy about their dogs, their children. this has become a giant birthday party for the country here. he says first of all, egyptians are very, very happy he says 80 million people are happy today. [ speaking foreign language ] >> he's upset that tourists left the country, that tourists were afra afraid. he says tourists should come back. they have nothing to fear. he's saying thank god everyone is happy. 80 million people are happy. he's saying -- he's trying to send a message to the egyptian people and to the world that this was a legitimate revolution and that it was the legitimate right of the people to topple
this will regime. and this man just said i love you, america. these people are saying egyptians, raise your head up high, you are egyptians. and that is what they are saying here over and over again, that this is a proud moment for egyptians, a proud moment in which they can hold their heads up high. this is a celebration movement. this is no longer a protest. they no longer have the intention of trying to topple hosni mubarak because hosni mubarak has stepped down. there's a great feeling of relief here, that they fought for this revolution, they fought for their rights and now they've achieved it. >> happy days are here again. richard engel with the crowd in cairo earlier today. when we return, we're going to go back to jub lent tahrir square on a day that's being called the greatest in he'egypt history. g the whole gang.
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welcome back. chapman bell has been down with the crowds in tahrir square for the past few days and he joins us now to talk about the mood of the people. how many hours have you been awake right now? >> i'm not even sure. we've just been getting by. but with all the excitement here, it's hard to think about sleeping too much. it's more important to be out and see this change, this revolution taking place. >> you know, most times when you have a celebration in our country, they last maybe half a day then people go home. but are these people going to stay all night? is that the plan, do you think? >> i think it will stay at least all night. it's funny when you think about it.
they've been at this square for 18 days. they said they would stay in this square until mubarak stepped down as president. now that he has done that, they're still in the square. in fact, there are probably more people in the square right now than there was this time tonight. the celebration has far surpassed the protests for this time -- this -- for today. >> well, can you tell from your conversations and from your reporting whether people are going to continue? this is going to be a celebration or is it a continued sort of protest? >> well, i mean, today, this evening it's purely a celebration. they finally feel that the people got what they had been asking for. they have been protesting that they wanted mubarak to step down as egypt's president and today they got their wish. they feel like they had the power of the people prevail. they said for 30 years, they have been suppressed and
oppressed. and now they are looking forward to freedom and democracy. so for the time being, they are very proud of their accomplishments. >> what has been your reaction to you over the last several days? has it changed to positive from more negative over the last four or five days? >> well, i mean, you know, i've actually only been in the square now for a couple of days. you know, yesterday it was -- they were oong angry. they were angry at the president, but they were very peaceful and today, they've changed. they are so happy to have accomplished their goal. and they're very exciteded this evening. >> do they know what the two fingers mean when they go like this, do they know it stands for victory? i thought that was an english word, but everybody is saying it in arabic.
this is peace, correct? victory? >> no, it's happy. >> i guess v means happy in arabic. thank you very much. let's go to roger cohen. he joins us now by phone from cairo. roger, i've been reading the "times" for the last several weeks now. it seems like your yup is pretty optimistic about the turn of events here the last several days and weeks. >> yeah, hi, chris. well, definitely. how could you not be. fantastic mood in cairo right now. kids dancing on tanks, women dancing on cars. and this has been a very repressive system for a pretty long time. and a leaderless group of young egyptians rose up and overthrew a despot. so i think that's a minnesota of hope for the arab world. it's been a kind of jurassic park with all these aging
leaders across the arab world and change is sweeping across the region now. >> just to look back a few hours, was there a kind of conversation going on between the protesters as a mass movement and the people in the military council? were they listening to the crowd and deciding that mubarak wasn't going to be able to get away with living some of the authority to the vice president? >> i think from the jo it set you've seen a very professional military that took a fundamental decision. they were not going to go down with mubarak. they only took the views that it was here to protect the nation, protect the people. and about six hours before mubarak resigned, there was a communique from the high command which said that the egyptian army wants to be the guarantee t -- guarantor of the process that speaks to the people's wishes. what the army will do in the
next days, weeks remains to be seen. but it was very clear from the first photos on january 25 that the aerp was not going to fire on its people. this is a very fundment fall thing. the u.s. has invested $1.3 billion a year or more in the egyptian military, and i think, you know, we've seen a professional army. now let's see how it performs in the crucial transition role it will have in the days ahead. >> do we know how the conversation went between the army and mubarak over the last couple of days? when he went out and made that have rather pathetic offer to hand over some authority to his vice president who he had selected in recent days. did he think, or was led to believe somehow that would be sa sa satisfactory to the people or the army? >> pathetic, you said it. it was probably the worst political speech in history.
itmeandered on for 17 minutes. there are reports the army had not approved that speech. i would love to know what had gone on inside the palace over the last 18 days. clearly tensions rose between mubarak and the army to the point that somebody went in today, perhaps the defense menster and said mr. president, this ability going to fly because he was scrambling last night to try and salvage something. and somebody told him today game over, mubarak. as one of the signs i just saw in the street said. we haven't had the tick-toks yet on what went on in the palace, but i would suggest that's a very good subject for some strong journalism. >> you know, we've been trying -- sitting here in washington watching this, trying to get a clear notion as to the goal of the protesters, all
million of them, perhaps. and for a while there, it was exile, banish this man, send him out of the country. and yet, when word came today early today or midday today that he had been taken by the military to sharm el-sheikh within the country, everyone was jub lent. highway do you figure that? >> i think the goal -- it wasn't about geographic location, primarily, chris. it was about, he's got to go. he's got to get out. it's got to end. this 30-year rule has to end. he has too much quit, and he quit. so i don't think for now people are too concerned about where precisely he is. he's gone. now what mr. happen to him? that's clearly going to be a critical subject in the weeks and months ahead. a what happens to all the people around him and those closest to him, a lot of people are already suggesting it's very important for egypt perhaps to have a
process similar to south africa of truth and reconciliation to pursue a course that might involve trial, that kind of thing. egypt has not known any kind of democracy since the coup of 1962. everything is going to have to be built from the ground up. political parties, democratic cultures prk free and fair elections. it's always work that lies ahead. and all in in a country with near 30% ill literacy and huge amounts of poverty. so this is a joyous moment. i don't think we should think about the problems tonight. this is a moment to celebrate. but there will be issues going forward. >> i wish them, franklin roosevelt that they can find someone, someone who can distribute, rebuilt, give them relief, reconstruct, create
something in the long term and deal with the vast aspirations of the people in the short run. roger cohen of the new york times. thank you very much for joining us to night in cairo. up next, what's ahead for our relationship with egypt. president obama promises we'll be a friend and partner to egypt. but what will the egyptians want from us? and what will democracy in egypt actually look like? this is "hardball." only on msnbc. ♪ what do you see yourself doing after you do retire? client comes in and they have a box. and inside that box is their financial life. people wake up and realize. "i better start doing something." we open up that box.
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>> we have the privilege of witnessing history taking place. this is one of those moments. this is one of those times. the people of egypt have .spoken. their voices have been heard, and egypt will never be the same. >> we're back. that was president obama today reacting to the news in egypt. here's a little more. let's listen. >> these scenes remind us that we need not be defined by our differences. we can be defined by the common humanity that we share. and above all, we saw a new generation emerge, a generation that uses their own creativity and talent and technology that calls for a government that represented their hopes and not their fears. a government that is responsive to their boundless aspirations. >> we're joined by now by a coup of pals of ours. richard wolffe and david corn. you know, i'm a little bit jub
lent now a little bit frisky. i'll say something that will bother some people. you have people who think the president of the united states is muslim. which he is not. he's christian. they think he's foreign born, which he's not. he's american born. but they have this attitude about him, the attitude about him, people on the right. here he is, he comes in in this jubilant situation in egypt, where the first time in our lives we get to see people in the arab world in a positive democratic situation, not as terrorists, not fighting. not mouthing epithets against the west, but people like us. in a way it took obama to have this happen or it is so certificate endip tus. his critics will probably say we knew this was coming. >> i think this speech he gave this afternoon, the remarks, were right on point. i mean, he celebrated, but he also set a standard. said nothing less than genuine democracy, and he praised the military for the restraint it has shown, and for making all the right statements so far, but
set the standards. want fair, free elections to lift the emergency laws. >> he is talking to the military. >> that's the game here in terms of power of politics, that's the game. and he wants to encourage them to keep the word they've already given. >> okay. now we have a free bit of communication. we know who we are talk to go, not talking to a dying despot, we are talking to a very powerful military that is very professional and it has proven its discipline. they can control events to some extent now. is that the way you read it, richard, that we're trying to send them in the right direction? they've been controlling themselves all along. mubarak was a military guy. so the danger is the military, one of their own people and they stay on forever. the channels of communication military to military have been very good. that's one important factor here. also, american military aid. that's what that $102 million goes to. that's an important measure here as well. but the tricky thing, as complicated as it has been for the administration up to this
point, the hard thing here is moving this democratic reform along without making it seem like whoever they're helping, whether it is in the opposition or people inside the current government, trying to spin out and establish themselves, without making them seem like american stooges, because that's the kiss of death. so for all the experience america has in helping civil society, helping opposition parties, free and fair elections around the world, it's important not to make this an american love scene. that's why all the conservatives that said this president needs to go out there and say yea for america, let's see the same in iran and syria, that's why he was right not to do that today. >> it can be counter productive. >> one of the smartest, more mature concerns, george wells seems progressive by some standards, has said hands off. this is a bad policy. >> right now things are going in a positive direction. you have amazing power within
the people, and they have their opposition leaders, and it is diverse opposition. and so i don't think the administration has to weigh in in explicit manner. out of $1.5 billion in aid we give egypt every year, 1.3 billion goes to the military. so there's a lot of contact going on before this. >> richard, every time one of these occasion happen, whether the birth of a new south africa, keep wishing they would find a roosevelt. probably someone from center left, someone who could be democratic and also strong and brilliant, giving the people what they need in the short run, building toward what they need in the long run. it is hard to find leaders like that. >> there are not many nelson mandelas out there. the danger and people in the west wing have been worried about this from the beginning, the danger is the charismatic figure that turns out to be a radical, someone we don't know, someone beyond the muslim brotherhood. and by the way, we saw regime
change in egypt today, very different from regime change in iraq, and how much more successful. for all the people on the right that said this administration has stumbled, this is regime change that did not cost american lives. >> or egyptian lives to the amount we have losses in iraq. >> thank you, richard wolf and david corn. have a nice weekend. it is a weekend to celebrate, i believe. when we return, let me finish with the roots of revolution. the disillusion of so many egyptians and how they are seizing to make their country better. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. it requires determination and decisive action. go to e-trade and get unbiased analyst ratings and 24/7 help from award-winning customer support to take control of your finances and your life. tap into the power of revolutionary mobile apps. to trade wherever. whenever. life isn't fully experienced sitting idly by. neither is investing. e-trade. investing unleashed.
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let me finish tonight with a feeling. for those of us that care about politics, this today in egypt is what we care about. it's about people, people who think and caretaking a hand in their country's destiny. it will not always be pure or perfect. people are not always alert, smart or good in their intentions, but in the ancient land of egypt, the fall of mubarak is as a result of a good, smart, alert people. they saw a chance, saw a way to do it, and pursued a national good. watching this on television is an opportunity for us in america to see something we don't often get to see. people far from us, but different from us. people of different culture but of similar aspiration. you go to school, work to learn. you want a chance to follow your dream. to the young in egypt, it has been a frustrating, brutal
existence. you sit in a cafe and talk about what you want to do, what you could do, but you can't. and watch those few at the top, in laws and cousins and other connected ones that get the posts in government, business breaks, the partnerships, the openings in the crack. if you speak out, you're jailed. as a tourist, you see none of this. egypt is scenic to a visitor. it is not scenic to live in a police state, face prison and torture if your voice gets too loud or too listened to. so once again, we see the power of democracy. it was a sight of people pouring through it that brought the berlin wall down. it was people simply want to go vote that changed south africa, not the gun, not the conspirators hiding in rooms planning to blow up buildings, not hijackers, other suicidal killers with bombs planted in their underwear. none of those have ever overthrown a dictator. here the people did it with only their voices, arms waving with feeling, their souls on fire. again, democracy is only